Secure communications for critical infrastructure? There's a network for that

Dive Brief:

  • Full Spectrum, a supplier of private broadband cellular data network tech, recently announced plans to deploy a nationwide wireless data service for mission critical communications, according to a press statement.
  • The company will begin with private service in the New York City metropolitan area that will cover approximately 20 million people in portions of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
  • The company lists utilities, rail services, automated vehicles, environmental monitoring including water and air quality, coastal and homeland security, and seismic monitoring as areas where the data service may be needed for increased security and network availability.

Dive Insight:

This announcement comes shortly after AT&T's recent announcement to build a public safety network for a contract with the Department of Commerce. Secure, fast communication and internet is proving crucial for cities relying more and more on technology.

The new service will allow for complete digital and physical separation from the public internet over the service area. The security and low latency possibilities of the Full Spectrum network however are geared towards companies using industrial internet of things (IIoT), autonomous vehicle companies and governments. 

"You don't want to put mission critical internet traffic on cellular networks for a reliability and security reasons," said Full Spectrum CEO Stewart Kantor to Smart Cities Dive.

He also mentioned how the point-to-multipoint wireless network will have four base stations which will be installed in the New York area over the next six weeks and bring on test users shortly after. The network will use 802.16s, a new worldwide wireless standard for mission critical networks that Full Spectrum helped develop, and there will also be over the air encryption. Assuming the New York pilot launch is successful, this service could become a crucial investment for cities nationwide wishing to boost reliance on data networks.

Filed Under: Energy & Utilities Policy & Planning
Top image credit: Ryan McKnight